Bloggers and Noteworthy Reads (This Week’s Reads # 2)

Happy Sunday!

I’d like to give a shoutout to a few bloggers and sites that may interest you. These people are worth following on WordPress if you like book reviews, writing, visually appealing blogs, and personal opinion pieces. This is the second post in this series. Read the first post here.

Here are this week’s reads . . . 


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Written Word Worlds

WordPress: https://writtenwordworlds.com/

Written Word Worlds is a great site, particularly for readers of young adult literature. There are a variety of posts that center around YA fiction, including book reviews and discussion posts. Sarah’s posts are full of useful links and beautiful visuals – something that I am trying to work on.

Check out her rating system for books. She uses teacups! On top of that, it is one of a handful of WordPress sites I have seen this week with an accompanying Youtube page. 

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Written Word Worlds – Home Page

My Pick(s): Sarah’s post on shock value raises valuable questions and provides good food for thought on the insensitive use of traumatic experience in literature and popular media for shock value. Read Sarah’s post here. If you are looking for a post with lighter subject matter, try this one on naming characters. They are both good.


The Cat’s Write

WordPress: https://millyschmidt.com/

Milly Schmidt’s posts are helpful for bloggers and aspiring writers. Much like this blog, The Cat’s Write shares thoughts, habits, notes, and discoveries that come up during the writing process. Milly’s site is clear, laid-back, and to the point.  There really is a variety of content on this site – a mix of personal blogging, writing tips, and guest posts.

 

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My Pick: Like I mentioned earlier, The Cat’s Write has some great guest posts. Here’s one from BB Morgan.


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Next Week

I would like to highlight a few of my followers next weekend for This Week’s Reads. If you are proud of your blog or know of a blog that I should check out, please share in the comments or connect with me below!

 

I hope you found this useful.

-Curtis


Marcus Aurelius and Quotes from His Meditations

Marcus Aurelius was once emperor of Rome, a philosopher, and a military leader. He practiced Stoicism, a branch of Hellenistic philosophy. 

He is a great inspiration.

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Meditations by Marcus Aurelius resting on a copy of The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday.

 


A Time to Sit and Think

Years ago, I was on a trip with my fiancé that took me through London, Oxford, and Whitby (photographs available here). We made a few stops at Blackwell’s Bookshop in Oxford, and I bought the Oxford World Classic’s edition Leonardo Da Vinci’s Notebooks, as well as the Oxford World Classic’s edition of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.

Meditations is a series of private notes that Marcus Aurelius wrote to himself. It is a phenomenal book and one worth reading, especially at this time of year. As summer approaches, subtle shifts in pressure and responsibility have left me reflecting on my life and how I live it.

It’s the perfect time of year to sit down and think. My head bubbles with questions and concerns:

How will this summer go? How will this season and next year unfold? How can I honor my commitments while also enjoying some time off?

These meditations remind me to stay in the present moment, to use logic, and to move through life as a social being. Although these are private notes were meant for the emperor’s reflection,  I have found them useful in my own life. I have shared a few quotes from Meditations below.

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The Oxford World’s Classic Edition

Marcus Aurelius’s examination of his own life, his logical flow of thoughts, and the constant criticism of his own character, each drives me to examine my own life through the lens of philosophy.

I find myself returning to the book regularly, thumbing through the pages in search of something brilliant, or simply reading a series of meditations to process the meaning.

I first read excerpts from Meditations in high school, and now that I have a copy of my own, I finally have the opportunity to dog-ear the pages and mark the passages that resonate with me. Whether I am writing fiction, grading papers, or reading literature, these meditations seem to find a way into my life.

In this edition of Meditations, the work is divided into twelve parts. Each part is labeled as a book. Each book is further divided into meditations, ranging from one sentence to several paragraphs per meditation.

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4 Quotes from Meditations

These quotes are each considered one meditation. They have provided some food for thought this week. I hope you find them useful as well.

Do not suppose that if you personally find that something is hard to achieve, it is therefore beyond human capacity; rather, if something is possible and appropriate for human beings, assume that it must also be within your reach.

-Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 6.19


If something is not right, do not do it, if something is not true, do not say it; for you should keep your impulses under your own control.

-Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 12.17


Look at the inner nature of things; and in each instance, let niehter its specific quality nor its worth escape you.

-Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 6.3


No more of all this talk about what a good man should be, but simply be one!

-Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 10.16


Is there a quote that you particularly like?

-Curtis

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Bloggers and Noteworthy Followers (This Week’s Reads # 1)

Happy Friday!

I’d like to give a shoutout to a few bloggers and sites that may interest you. These people are worth following on WordPress if you like book reviews, travel blogs, challenges, and writing. Here are this week’s reads . . . 


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Adventures of a Bibliophile

WordPress:  https://adventuresofabibliophile.com/

Adventures of a Bibliophile is a solid site if you like reading challenges. Stephanie tracks her reading challenges and infuses her posts with her own experiences. It’s a nice personal blog to read, and she inspires me to take on challenges of my own. I personally enjoy any blog that gives readers a sense of progress or momentum.

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My Pick: She’s currently working on a Shakespeare Reading Challenge.


Alisa Ellie

WordPress: https://alisaellie.blog/

I found Alisa Ellie on Instagram during a bookstagram shoutout session. I was first drawn in by her beautiful feed. I soon found that she had short, informational posts on blogging, writing, and books. Her blog is also very aesthetically pleasing. She is honing her own style, for sure.

Check her out. Her posts are funny and useful.

Alisa Ellie

My Pick:  I picked her Writing as a Skilll chose this post because it meshes well with how I view writing and writing habits.


Some Noteworthy Followers

I’d like to get in the habit of featuring some of my followers, new and old in a weekly post (usually on Friday or over the weekend). I’ve read some great work on WordPress, and I think it would be nice to bring specific posts to light in the future.

Check out these wordpress bloggers who are following me right now.

Thrifty Bibliophile

WordPress:  https://thriftybibliophile.com/

These book reviews are short and to the point. I really enjoy how quickly I can get an overview of a book.

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My Pick: The site is also very well organized. I have included a link to her book review index (very helpful!).Check it out here.


Write Kind Travels

WordPress:  https://writekindtravels.com/

Book reviews, Barcelona, and travels. There are a variety of posts and topics on this site. I personally enjoy the blend of information and photography. In fact, I may try similar posts on my site when the time comes.

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My Pick: Her Book Tour of Barcelona is gorgeous, as is the rest of her travel section.


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I hope you found this useful! If you have a blog I should check out, let me know.

-Curtis


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Patreon: /CurtisWritesBooks

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7 Lessons I Learned From Hosting My First 7-Day Challenge, and What I’m Doing Next . . .

Today marks the end of the 7-Day Reading Challenge.

At least, it marked an end to the official days. . . Here’s what I learned from hosting a 7-Day Challenge over Twitter, Instagram, and WordPress, and what I plan on doing next.

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Seven Days of Challenging Myself

I spent the last seven days of my life reading for 20 minutes a day and posting to Instagram, Twitter, and WordPress about my reading experience. This was an attempt to start building a stronger reading habit while connecting with others about the joy of reading. You can read about the challenge here.

I thought that building the reading habit would be the hardest part. It was not.

The most difficult element of the challenge was keeping up with a consistent posting schedule across the three mediums. The process taught me so much.

Here’s what I learned:

Lesson # 1: Hosting a challenge is fun, even with a small number of people.

As of writing this post, the Instagram hashtag garnered about 26 public posts. This is a relatively small number considering what is possible during a challenge. However, this made no difference in terms of how fun the challenge was.

Some people are still continuing the challenge, and that’s unbelievably cool. Others are just starting, like this user, @blackbird_reads, who is creating a story highlight for the challenge.

I had the opportunity to connect with people I didn’t know, inside and outside of the challenge, simply because we were consistently reading and posting about our reading experience.

Lesson # 2: Social pressure helps me accomplish tasks.

Hosting the challenge gave it an extra edge, as I had the opportunity to see the process grow. I was pushed by social pressure to make sure I completed my 20 minutes of reading a day. Social pressure also encouraged me to post daily on WordPress and Instagram – a habit that I would like to continue whenever possible.

Lesson # 3: I can easily let social media consume me.

On Wednesday and Thursday, I found myself checking Instagram far too much, and I needed to check in with myself about how much social media time was healthy. I know I may sound old saying this, but there definitely is a limit to how much Instagram a person should consume before it consumes you.

Still, it wasn’t wasted time. Last week I didn’t even know what a theme or aesthetic was for an Instagram feed, and now I’m learning how to post more visually-appealing content.

Lesson # 4: On most days, I wanted to read for more than 20 minutes.

The reading challenge not only pushed me to read for 20 minutes, but it also pushed me to think deeply about my own reading. As a result, I took a longer amount of time to process my reading each day. For that, I am happier.

Lesson # 5: The most meaningful connections were with people over the smallest things.

Whenever someone told me about a new book, project, or ARC, I felt like we were building a small community around reading. I know that Bookstagram and other communities exist for readers, but this felt more personal. Maybe it was the size, or maybe it was the specificity of the challenge.

The smallest conversations somehow felt bigger, like we strangers were reaching across the internet and building bridges.

Lesson # 6: Hosting a challenge keeps you focused on a small set of tasks.

Hosting the challenge kept me focused on these tasks:

  1. Reading every day.
  2. Posting to Instagram every day.
  3. Writing blog posts every day.
  4. Asking questions every day.
  5. Becoming inquisitive about what works and reflecting for a few minutes on new things I could try.

Lesson # 7: Seven days is too short of a time to recruit people to a challenge. Which is why it will remain open . . . forever.

I only promoted the challenge for a week before it started, and I honestly have a very small following of people at this point. This didn’t discourage me when I started the challenge, and it doesn’t discourage me now. In fact, it’s rather encouraging. I’m keeping the hashtag open, and I will post regularly to it, just in case someone else decides to take on the challenge and #readwithcurtis.


What’s Next?

I organized all the 7-Day Reading Posts on a new site page. You can check it out here.

I’m going to post about my reading regularly to the Instagram hashtag #readwithcurtis , and I will update the #readwithcurtis site page when I write articles about specific books.

New Habits to Keep

  1. Reading regularly.
  2. Posting regularly to Paper Palaces.
  3. Posting to Instagram daily.
  4. Connecting with others daily.

I’m sure there will be days when this won’t be possible, but I think setting the intention is important.

A New Challenge

I’m planning a new challenge, just for me. It’s more of an experiment than a challenge. You can follow the experiment via this blog. Of course, you are welcome to join in too!

For the next season, I am going dive into my fiction writing. I will post about it regularly on my Instagram feed as well under the hashtag #MinutesToABetterBook, and I will, of course, create process posts here on WordPress. I want to see how quickly I can get to 18,000 minutes (300 Hours) of time dedicated to just writing fiction, specifically my books. Read more about Minutes to a Better Book here.

I’m would like to complete that writing time by the end of the summer. It will take many early mornings, and probably some late nights, but the story must be told.

-Curtis

Let’s Connect!

Instagram: @CurtisWritesBooks

Facebook: /curtisteichertbooks

Patreon: /CurtisWritesBooks

Twitter: @staghorncrown

WordPress: PaperPalacesBlog.com

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Want to try the 7-Day Reading challenge? Read more about the challenge here.

-Curtis

How One Children’s Fantasy Book Inspired Me to Rethink My Artistic Process…

Lyra’s Oxford

Philip Pullman published his trilogy, His Dark Materials in 1995.  The three main books in the series included:

Northern Lights (The Golden Compass in the U.S.)

The Amber Spyglass

The Subtle Knife

Lyra’s Oxford is a companion novel to the set, along with Once Upon a Time in the North. When I was looking through my book collection, I found an old copy of Lyra’s Oxford in my bookshelf. It was sandwiched between a few other paperbacks I’ve neglected over the years. This edition is simply beautiful in the way it is designed and executed. It is this design that made me take a step back and rethink my creative process.  Take a look at the photos below:

The artwork is the most striking aspect of the book’s visual appeal.  Jon Lawrence, illustrator and engraver, contributed these visuals to the book. The aesthetic is amazing. For me, I can’t resist the look of woodcut and engraved design, nor can I resist the appeal of engraver as a metaphor.

Engravers work on their products with sustained effort over a long period of time, eventually rendering an intricate whole from thousands of little creative decisions.  The parallels to the writing process are pretty obvious.

Jon Lawrence’s work inspires me.  The artwork, layout, and overall aesthetic of this edition urged me to sit down, slow down, and rethink what I do.

Mapping Out A Story

In the center of Lyra’s Oxford, a neatly creased fold-out waits for readers to discover its secrets. This unassuming piece of paper is folded into eighths, with the facing page entitled “The Globetrotter,” a “Series of Maps for the Traveller.”

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The Globetrotter – Lyra’s Oxford, Philip Pullman

As the reader unfolds each section, the pages reveal publications, sketches, and advertisements that directly and indirectly allude to characters in the whole His Dark Materials series. It is an outstanding example of keeping continuity within a series.

When fully unfolded, one side of the fold-out  features a tricolor of Oxford, rendered in gorgeous engraver’s print. This style reminds me of the woodcuts of Will Schaff, another artist whose artwork I enjoy. The other side features a plain grid-style map of Oxford. Of course, the map is not the “real” Oxford. This is the Oxford of Lyra Belacqua, the main character in Pullman’s series. Still, there are similarities between both Oxfords.   

 

I felt a surge of curiosity when I first opened the map. My eye was drawn to each cartouche, emblem, and ink-lined street.

 

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Fold-Out: Jon Lawrence, Lyra’s Oxford

 

Lawrence’s work does a great job at mapping out a story without even telling it. I imagine the collaboration between Pullman and Lawrence was riveting; or, at least I hope so! While I looked at this map, I thought about a comment my fiancé made in my early journey of planning The Staghorn Crown, a fantasy quintet that follows the lives of four girls as they come of age in a magical fortress called the Stellaria.  As I drafted the first scenes of The Staghorn Crown, Laura turned to me and said, “I assume when this is published, you’ll have a map of this place.”

Of course, I had a very specific idea of what I wanted the Stellaria to look like, but I had not thought about hiring an artist to make it. Until then, I had made my own sketches of rooms, towers, and ancient keeps.

After my encounter with Jon Lawrence’s engravings, I could enrich the reading experience of my novels by having these maps available. My search for the best artist to render them is underway, and I continue to sketch in the meantime.

Keeping My Goals, Changing My Process

What is my largest take-away?

I learned that I need to periodically slow down and look at the bigger picture. How will my own books provide an experience for the reader? How can I make my own writing immersive? After all, I enjoy the experiences provided by Pullman, Martin, Gaiman, Rowling, Barnhill, and Nix,  and feel inspired whenever I read them.

Lyra’s Oxford gave me the space to sit down and rethink my creative process. I have so many questions:

How do I craft fiction with excellent continuity? How many revisions will this take? I write this, smiling and knowing that it will take enough revisions to make me happily exhausted.

Part of this blog is documenting this complex process.

For those of you new to Paper Palaces, I am a self-publishing author and teacher.  My overall goal is to write a twelve-novel fantasy saga. In 2016, I created the world, mapped out the books, and treated the project as a hobby. My fiancé and I traveled to England, where I was inspired by the beautiful seaside town of Whitby and the Yorkshire Moors.  After that, I had to create these books. It’s become a little bit of an obsession.

While this dream began with a student’s response to a writing exercise, it has since grown. I hope it keeps growing. In the end, creating these twelve books is about sharing a great story with others. I have decided to keep the same goals, despite add one important aspect to my practice. I am thankfully spending more time slowing down.

The Goals I will Keep, No Matter How:

  • To complete the series and build a readership over the next six years.

  • To release preview chapters and installments of my work online to readers, patrons, students, and friends/family.

  • To become part of a writing community so I can see, appreciate, and share the magic of writing.

I hope the little decisions I make along the way are guided by these larger aspirations.


To stay updated on my books, consider joining the Books of Brylennia Facebook Group, where you can connect with Laura and me on the process of writing, editing, creating this fantasy series, and self-publishing. You can post your own contributions too. Join us on the journey. 

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Why I wrote for six hours on Saturday and will definitely do it again!

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On Saturday morning, I woke up at 5 a.m. and groggily prepared myself for six hours of writing. Fueled with two large coffees, and ready for anything, I opened my laptop, sat down, and produced 6,000 words (4,500 of which I’m willing to keep).

By lunch, I was running around my apartment, sharing my happiness with my fiancé. In the process, my excitement may have annoyed my cats!

This overwhelming feeling of productivity after a successful writing session is familiar to most authors and writers. Usually, I am a very slow writer. I spread my work out over the course of days, methodically planning, plotting, editing, and revising in an almost-meditative state.

To make matters worse, I’m huge fan of daily writing calendars and events, and I am often hooked by thirty-day challenges. However, if I want a balanced life with happy friends, family, students, and of course, a happy fiancé, I have to plan my time thoughtfully.

Throughout the last month, I have spent hours and hours of my time grading papers and attending to other areas of my work and home life. As a result, my regular writing hours became more and more irregular.

I attempted to fix this with a daily schedule, which lead to awkwardly written prose and disjointed scenes that needed to be rewritten. This has happened to me before, and my usual solution is a binge-writing session. Thankfully, I learned that I am not alone.

After a listening to this self-publishing podcast interview with author Steve Windsor, I learned that he typically writes for hours on end. Instead of writing in smaller chunks for several days a week – or having a quota of 500, or 1,000 words per day – Steve writes for longer sessions, often producing the highest word count he can.

In his podcast, he mentions sitting in a cafe for six hours and aiming for 15,000 words. This idea of planting yourself in one place, for hours on end, without the distractions of social media, commitments, or household chores thrilled me. It was inspiring to hear a different message for a change. I think longer writing sessions will be my new norm.

As I move forward and continue to work on my nine-novel series and prequel quintet, I’ll post about the experience here. I think I may have found a process that works for me.

Do you have a process that works for you?

Please share in the comments, link a blog post, or tweet your idea to @staghorncrown on Twitter.


Remember to like, comment, follow, or share via social media!

My Reading Week: It’s Monday, What are you reading? #IMWAYR – October 23rd, 2017

imwayr

For another monday, I’ve decided to participate in It’s Monday! What are you reading?, which I found through Jen Vincent’s Blog TeachMentorTexts.com, and Kellee’s Unleashing Readers. Jen has children’s literature as the subject for these posts, which she has defined as  “picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit…”  If you’re interested in books appealing to younger crowds, or children’s literature in general, check the links that Jen Vincent provides on her blog. There you will find a list of sites participating. Each separate site has a similar posting with children’s literature titles.

Since I tend to read middle grade and young adult novels for school, and I’m currently writing a young adult novel series and posting previews on Wattpad, my focus will be on the older end of the children’s literature spectrum. With some exceptions, the books I read are typically a little darker or more serious in content than most you would find in intermediate and primary fiction. 

A link to Common Sense Media appears under each book for parents and teachers to assess whether or not the book’s material is appropriate for their children / students.

 

What am I reading?

 

Star Girl by Jerry Spinelli

Reading Status: Looking Forward To This

One of my students gave me this book as a gift, which I always take as a strong endorsement for the book’s quality. In fact, several students have read and enjoyed Stargirl, but I have not yet had the opportunity to read it. At a short 186 pages, Stargirl follows an eleventh grader and the tension between staying unique or becoming “normal.” It’s been quoted on Common Sense Media as a popular book and a “scathing commentary on teenagers.” How interesting! Themes related to nonconformity run throughout the book, which means it will be a great pick for teens.  It’s always nice to see a book that paints social pressure with a full spectrum of colors. I’ll post about it next week, or on YA Friday, if I am finished with it then.

Star Girl by Jerry Spinelli on Common Sense Media


 

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Norse Mythology Book Poster Image

Reading Status: Finished.

This is definitely a book that would appeal to young adults, although I’m sure it’s classified as adult fiction/mythology. That’s the funny thing about mythology; the distinctions we build around which audience should read mythology, and at what age,  are blurry at best. Neil Gaiman does a fantastic job of retelling the Norse myths with a contemporary voice. Interestingly enough, there are mixed reviews for this book.

Whenever sacred source material is rewritten, this seems to be the case. Some critics loved it, while others questioned the authenticity of Neil retelling the stories. All in all, this was a quick and gripping read. I recommend it to anyone who loves mythology. Before you hand it to kids, however, please note that it was marketed towards an adult audience. See the CSM link below.

Norse Mythology on Common Sense Media

 


The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

 

The Graveyard Book Book Poster Image

Reading Status: Partway through – I’m still reading The Graveyard Book! Here’s a link to my previous post.

The Graveyard Book on Common Sense Media

I seem to have a thing for Neil Gaiman lately…


 

What are you reading?

Please comment or share. The new layout occasionally moves the comment link to the top of the post! Happy Monday!


Follow Curtis on Wattpad: Curtis Teichert on Wattpad

YA FRIDAY: 3 Books to Add to Your Shelf

 

In an earlier post this Monday, I previewed three books: Pax by Sarah Pennypacker, Ghost by Jason Reynolds, and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman for IMWAYR.

For this week’s YA Friday, I’d like to keep the tradition of previewing a book I have read, one book that I’m partway through, as well as one that I am looking forward to. If you have read any of these books, please like and comment below, letting us know your thoughts!

Unbroken

Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation): An Olympian's Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive Book Poster Image

 

Reading Status: Finished

Summary: The young readers edition of Unbroken is a great non-fiction pick for WWII enthusiasts. The book follows the successes and struggles of Louie Zamperini, an olympian and airman during the Second World War.  Laura Hillenbrand recounts his life story, infusing the pages with heart-breaking moments, intriguing factual information, and stories that illuminate the full spectrum of the human condition.

While there are some intense moments for younger readers, this edition is a solid book to add to the YA shelf. I have included a link to Common Sense Media for teachers and parents to review the books content. Unbroken was made into a popular movie, but as my students would say… the book is often better!

Common Sense Media: Common Sense Media Review: Unbroken – Young Adult Edition

Graceling

Graceling Book Poster Image

Reading Status: Partway Through

Summary: Kristin Cashore hooked me with the first 100 pages of Graceling. The main character, Katsa, is a Graceling. Like other Gracelings, society has marginalized her for her abilities and appearance – an apt metaphor for how remarkable women are treated in our society.

All Gracelings excel at a skill or talent. Katsa’s happens to be killing. With this skill, she makes a marvelous assassin and enforcer, but her uncle, the King, uses her. Within the first fifty pages, Katsa begins to question her role in the Kingdom. She meets Po, another Graceling from a privileged part of society. Po is Graced with excellent combat skills. While I am only nearly 100 pages in, I can safely say that have enjoyed every page so far.

Common Sense Media: Common Sense Media Review: Graceling

The Iron Trial

The Iron Trial: Magisterium, Book 1 Book Poster Image

Reading Status: Looking forward to!

Summary: 

Callum Hunt has been warned to stay away from magic, yet despite his father’s warnings, he has failed. Callum has “failed at failing” the Iron Trial, opening him for admission to the Magisterium.

As I have not yet started this book, I am very interested your own comments and suggestions. Should I read it? Here’s a delicious quote from the back cover:

“Now the Magisterium awaits him. It’s a place that’s both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.”

Common Sense Media: Common Sense Media: The Iron Trial


If you enjoyed this post or YA Fridays, please like and follow this blog. Share your thoughts in the comment section!

-Curtis

#FantasyFansUnited – A Community of Fantasy Fiction Enthusiasts

Paper Palaces will provide a place for Fantasy Fans on WordPress and other platforms to unite, including writers, authors, artists, and other enthusiasts of fantasy fiction, art, and movies.

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Fantasy Fiction Fridays: #FantasyFansUnited

Let us revel in our passion for this genre! Let’s spread the inspiration!

Who do we welcome?

  • Authors, artists, writers, teachers, readers, book reviewers, and fantasy enthusiasts that write on WordPress and/or other online platforms!
  • Any blogger, Instagram or Twitter user, content creator, and Bookstagram enthusiast

Anyone joining should some interest in any of the following subjects: fantasy fiction, fantasy movies, book reviews and commentary, reading, literature, or fantasy as a genre.

This is just to name a few. If you like the fantasy genre, you should join.


What are the primary interests of this group?

  • Everything fantasy, sci-fi, and speculative fiction
  • Producing and reading high-quality blog posts
  • Building a readership for every blogger that joins
  • Guest-posting on each other’s blogs

What are the benefits and what do we do?

  • As this community grows, your readership may grow.
  • You will get to connect with other people in the fantasy writing/reading community.
  • You won’t have to sift through the WordPress Reader to find like-minded posts, content, and interesting artwork
  • By posting in this community, your work will be referenced, re-blogged, and visible across other social media platforms

How do you join?

Create your content and include the tag FantasyFansUnited whenever the post relates to the genre of fantasy. If you post on Instagram or Twitter, use the hashtag #FantasyFansUnited.

Add this tag to your reader. It may take some time to populate with posts as we build our community.

I will re-blog and reference our highest-quality posts on WordPress and other Social Media platforms, and I encourage our community to do the same.


What if I want my blog featured, or an author to guest post?

There are two options.

Share your site in the comments section, and I will re-blog or post content on the next Fantasy Fiction Friday after previewing your site. Or, more preferably, use the form on my Coffee Questions Page. By using the form, I can connect you with other creators.


Consider joining our community by adding the FantasyFansUnited tag to your WordPress, or by using the same hashtag for your Instagram and Twitter posts.

Thanks!

-Curtis


Let’s Connect!

Instagram: @CurtisWritesBooks

Facebook: /curtisteichertbooks

Patreon: /CurtisWritesBooks

Twitter: @staghorncrown

WordPress: PaperPalacesBlog.com

My Reading Week: It’s Monday, What are you reading? #IMWAYR

imwayr

This Monday, I’ve decided to participate in It’s Monday! What are you reading?, which I found through Jen Vincent’s Blog TeachMentorTexts.com, and Kellee’s Unleashing Readers. Jen has children’s literature as the subject for these posts, which she has defined as  “picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit…”

Since I tend to read middle grade and young adult novels for school, and I’m currently writing a young adult novel series, my focus will be on the older end of the children’s literature spectrum.

Therefore, these books are a little darker than most you would find in intermediate and primary fiction.

I suppose this keeps with October’s theme. A link to Common Sense Media appears under each book for parents and teachers to assess whether or not the book’s material is appropriate for their children / students.

If you’re interested in books appealing to younger crowds, or children’s literature in general, check the links that Jen Vincent provides on her blog. There you will find a list of sites participating. Each separate site has a similar posting with children’s literature titles.

What am I reading?

 

Pax by Sarah Pennypacker

 

Image result for pax sara pennypacker

Pax is the youngest book on the spectrum; it is often marketed as an intermediate book. Pax follows a young boy and his fox as the two are separated and trying to find one another. This book blossoms with crisp and descriptive prose, as well as emotional-intelligent character development. From my own experience, the book was true to boyhood. Obviously, that depends on the reader! As Pax and his boy, Peter, find their way in the world, the reader becomes increasingly aware of the personal and inter-personal conflicts involved in the human condition. Peter must form and patch up relationships with adults, while Pax must navigate what it is like to be a domesticated fox released into the wild. The novel alternates perspectives and storylines, creating an unforgettable experience for the reader.

Common Sense Media: Pax by Sarah Pennypacker


 

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Ghost is easy for a sixth grader to read, but I would recommend it to seventh and eighth graders first, purely based on the first chapter. The main character, Castle Cranshaw, experiences a traumatic; he and his mother must run away from his father during a frightening alcoholic episode. This event is referenced in the book; however, most of the book follows him as he goes through the milestones of middle school: joining the track team, finding his place among peers, learning to overcome embarrassment, and running towards the person he wants to be. It’s a great book. I had the opportunity to hear the author, Jason Reynolds speak at a school function. He was phenomenal. Ghost is part Jason Reynold’s Track series.

Common Sense Media: Ghost by Jason Reynolds


The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

 

The Graveyard Book Book Poster Image

Neil Gaiman’s prose are deliciously dark and sharp. He pulls no punches, as the book starts with a very creepy murder. If children’s horror is up your alley, look no further! According to my sixth grade students, The Graveyard Book is a great, is a great, imaginative read. I just started it this week, so I can only speak to what I know. Neil Gaiman has impressed me with his other work, and I have no doubt the rest of the book will continue to hook me with every scene.

Common Sense Media: The Graveyard Book


 

What are you reading?

Please comment or share. The new layout occasionally moves the comment link to the top of the post! Happy Monday!